Enhancements to Advanced Planning 4.0 include scenario simulation capabilities, which allows users to make strategic decisions such as plant location, capacity allocation and inventory levels.
The product also features "profitable-to-promise" order promising, allowing sales personnel to weigh up the financial impact of orders while on the phone with customers, said Ed Sitarski, vice-president of advanced planning at JD Edwards.
"Profitable-to-promise allows users to evaluate various ways of fulfilling customer orders to obtain the most profitable order," he said. "It's really a profit discovery process where a user can weigh the advantages of a particular fulfillment scenario against customer service."
Another enhancement allows users to share supply-chain planning information using Microsoft Excel as an interactive reporting tool. To enable information sharing with a partner that has only Excel and e-mail capabilities, the software extracts information automatically into an Excel file, which can then be e-mailed to the partner, Sitarski said.
This feature allows smaller suppliers that do not have expensive collaborative commerce capabilities to be plugged into JD Edwards' real-time information capabilities, he added.
As part of the upgrade, a new application called Demand Consensus will be available in January 2002. The application will let users take into account factors such as currency fluctuation when planning manufacturing.
JD Edwards' latest advanced planning software delivers new collaborative commerce capabilities, said Bruce Thornburg, vice-president of business processes and technology at SalesLink, a supply-chain management company specialising in the high-tech electronics industry.
SalesLink has seen a significant reduction in planning cycle time and inventory levels since implementing the technology, he added.